Exams are a vital, mandatory part of your academic journey. They can represent a large part of your final grade in a course. This page features resources to help you prepare for exams, as well as key information on exam procedures, schedules, important dates, cancellation and related academic regulations.

Exam preparation

Need help preparing for exams? There are a lot of resources at uOttawa that can help. 

Student Academic Success Service (SASS): Study Skills — Reviewing for Exams

Faculty mentoring centres:

Academic Support Unit: Academic GPS

Technical support during exams

During the Winter 2021 term, exams will take place from April 16 to 29, and as you know, most of them will be conducted online. Although most of you have taken exams online before, we wanted to remind you of the resources available to you during this crucial time.

To prepare – Your main resource for preparing for an exam is your professor. Ask your professor what to expect. You should also familiarize yourself with the platform that will be used. It may not necessarily be the same one for all your exams. Conduct a few tests beforehand to ensure that everything will work as planned on the day of your exam (platform, login, account, Internet connection).

During the exam – If you encounter problems after having taken all these precautions, the first resource you should turn to is still your professor. Contact the professor immediately to let them know and to get help. If the problem persists, contact the IT Service Desk by phone at 613-562-5800, ext 6555, or use the online IT Service Desk request form. They offer help from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also get help at any time through the BrightSpace platform, by chat or by phoning 1-866-811-3201.

Dates and deadlines

For many of the important dates regarding exams, check the Important academic dates and deadlines. You’ll find the date that the exam schedule is posted, the official exam period, the deferred and supplementary exam periods and the date that the official final grades are posted. Select the term you are interested in and then Grades and exams.

Exam schedule

The exam schedule is usually posted about six weeks before the exam period. The exact date it will be posted is in the Important academic dates and deadlines. You can then find your schedule in uoZone (under Applications, select My Exam Schedule).

Check your exam timetable regularly — exam times and locations can change after the initial posting. Also, make sure you look for the information about your specific course sections when checking.

Some graduate and professional courses might not appear and certain programs might have a different exam schedule. If so, contact your faculty or school or visit its website.

Official identification

Exceptionally, due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, to write your exam at the end of the Winter term 2021, you will need to show either a student card or another form of picture ID before writing your exam, such as your driver’s licence, health card or passport.

Religious accommodations

If you wish to request accommodation for a final exam based on your religious observance, you must do so within five working days of the posting of the exam schedule (see the "Important dates and deadlines").

For the request procedure, see Academic Regulation 1-15 – Religious accommodations.

Cancelled or postponed exams

Special circumstances, such as closed bridges, snowstorms, bomb scares or a fire leading to evacuation, require the University to take special measures regarding a final or supplemental exam, such as those below.

Certain faculties might have stricter requirements. If so, the faculty must ensure that professors and students are aware of them.

If the University must cancel all exams on a given day

  • This decision is made as soon as possible. Students are informed by 8 a.m. at the latest on the day of the exam.
  • A notification is posted on the University home page and recorded on the Emergency InfoLine (613-562-5555).
  • Exams are then moved to the first or second weekend after the start of classes for the following term, and the new exam times are posted on the University home page.

 If a chief proctor can’t make it to the exam

Copies of exams are always available at the faculty secretariat, with instructions on how to administer them, so the exam can go ahead as planned.

If certain students miss the exam because of events recognized as being out of their control by the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, or his or her representative

  • The Faculty determines, in consultation with the professor, the arrangements for a special exam. The students must then be informed as soon as possible.
  • Students who are present at the exam must be permitted to write it. The proctor should be tolerant if some students arrive late.

If there is a bomb scare or fire

The decision to evacuate exam rooms and the signal to re-enter these rooms must come from Protection Services.

Decisions concerning the exam are made on site where possible. Authorities can decide to resume the exam as soon as everyone re-enters the building, or to suspend the exam. If the exam is suspended, the faculty decides when to reschedule it.

Deferred exams

Deferred exams

Should you miss a final exam due to medical reasons, the death of a loved one or exceptional circumstances as indicated in Academic Regulation 9.5 – Justification of absence from an examination or late submission of assignments, you can be allowed to write a deferred examination. For information on how to proceed, see the web page below of the faculty offering the course. Note that some faculties have a specific form you must fill out.


Follow the Faculty of Arts exam deferral process, including completing the Request for a deferred mark form.


Follow the Faculty of Engineering exam deferral process.  

Health Sciences

Complete the Request for a deferred mark (DFR) – Undergraduate courses or Request for a deferred mark – Graduate Studies form and submit it to your professor for approval. Once your professor approves your form, email your request (with supporting documentation) to your school.


Follow the Faculty of Science exam deferral process.

Social Sciences

Submit the Request for a deferred mark form available through the Online forms portal (login required) along with your supporting documentation.

Telfer School of Management

Follow the Telfer School of Management exam deferral process, including completing the Deferred exam application form available on that web page.

Academic fraud and regulations concerning exams


Academic integrity is fundamental to all academic activities. Academic regulation 1-14 — Academic fraud defines what constitutes academic fraud and outlines its consequences, including sanctions. We encourage you to read more on academic integrity.


Be sure you know about all the University’s regulations on exams. They cover behaviour during an exam, items you can and cannot bring into an exam, justifiable reasons to miss an exam or hand in an assignment late and destruction of unclaimed exams and assignments.

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